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A basic Can-Am frame from scratch


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#1 JimF

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 06:44 PM

I usually try to get a whole build into one post but don't have the time for a start to finish build in one sitting today. As always I'll try not to drag this out over a long haul showing one solder joint at a time or whatever.

 

So... It's fun to build tripods and tuning forks and all the rest of that but sometimes you just need a basic car. This could be anything but it would be something that you know would always be pretty good no matter where you go. I always have a couple like that but have sold some off recently so I decided I needed a new one.

 

This is what basic means to me... a single .078 with a JK nosepiece. 3 15/16" x 7/8", 93.5 grams as shown. You could easily just use the whole JK kit (pans and all).

 

This car shown below is a little light for our NorCal Retro tracks but it is an easy layout to tune with weight. This next car will go for about the same weight range but will have different rail layouts and be slightly longer.

 

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I just built this late last week and then, I got to thinking... what if you didn't have a kit handy or just wanted a little different layout, or just didn't want to spend the money on a kit? So... here's another take on the basic car with a different rail layout.

 

Here's our kit... an R-Geo guide flag and bracket. Detail your bracket as I've shown in the past by filing the bracket face flat and then bending the legs 90* to the newly-flat surface of the bracket face. Finally, sand the bottom of the bracket so it lays flat.

 

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Here's our nosepiece drawn up and ready to cut out from a chunk of .032" x 2" brass. Obviously, this is a knock-off of the JK. This used about $1.50 worth of brass and took about 20 min from drawing to rough cutout.

 

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Rough cutout with a Dremel disk. This went really easily and took almost no time.

 

6f7f2c41-6a25-46d9-8821-8072e7e54531_zps

 

A little more Dremel work to taper the axle uprights, and cut a relief for the guide flag at front. There are a couple of tiny notches just behind the uprights that will give a little relief for the bend of the uprights. Next... into the vise for a clean-up/square-up with a couple of files.

 

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Shaping is done, uprights bent, center line verified and re-marked if necessary, and cut-outs for the main frame rails marked and started to cut. This is going to be 3 x .055" rails with a tiny bit of spacing between the rails. Each cutout is made at .175" wide x .500" long. The slots are rough cut a little undersized with a Dremel and then finished with a file. Slots are 1.0" apart at the inner edges to match your bracket width.

 

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OK... guide tongue soldered in place and into the jig. Setup is going to be 4.032" x 1".

 

Frame rails spread out and notebook paper spacers in place. The rails will have a space of about  .002-.003" between each rail. The rails are tacked together so I can handle them as a bundle when laying them in place.

 

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Main frame rails in place and tacked together front and back but not soldered in place yet. This is where you triple check for square and flat. Paper spacers still in place. This will create a "stop point" for the solder so it doesn't wick forward and backward into the spaces. Front arrow points to the stop point in front. Back arrow is supposed to do that but I goofed on the arrow. It should point to the back of the paper spacer not the front of it.

 

Bend a little bracket brace out of .055" wire. Douse the front and rear with acid, turn on your fan and hit it with either the mini torch or a high horsepower iron. (Hakko 456 in this case)

 

00593e9c-a188-440b-840e-00306dabeb36_zps

 

A little clean-up and then... Out of the jig and onto the flat block. A few details are shown here...

  • Red arrows point to the stop points for the solder.
  • Blue arrows point to the bracket brace and the main frame rails cut off flush with the brace.
  • Check for flat and square again and examine all your solder joints.

2ad6230d-fbe9-45c9-8bd1-f6c826339f71_zps

 

OK... here's a good place to stop. Hopefully one or at the most two more installments will get this done.


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Jim Fowler




#2 Tim Neja

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 07:14 PM

Looks good, Jim.

 

What's your technique for bending the front axle up-rights on that pan?? :)  AND drilling the holes for the proper height?? :)


She's real fine, my 409!!!

#3 JimF

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 07:42 PM

For the uprights, I used a bending brake (Harbor Freight cheapie) but that's mostly 'cuz I have it. You can do it easily enough with good pliers although I don't think the bend line will be quite as sharp.

 

Getting the height correct for the axle hole is for sure kinda fiddly. I measured from the bottom of the jig wheel flat to the center of the hole in the jig wheel and then set the caliper at that distance. Then I transferred the dimension to the upright after the bend. I still had to make egg shaped holes by a little but it was pretty close.

 

Actually, just thought of maybe a better way as I was typing this... hafta try it though.


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Jim Fowler

#4 Tim Neja

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 07:52 PM

Thanks, Jim.

 

Yeah, I have one of those bending brakes. I gotta get it bolted down to something so I can USE it!! I haven't figured out how to get the heights on the holes perfect yet!!! :)


She's real fine, my 409!!!

#5 JimF

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 07:55 PM

OK... now' I'm thinkin... I'll try something and post it up in a few mins or so.


Jim Fowler

#6 JimF

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 08:24 PM

OK... here we go...

 

Take a scrap of .093" piano wire in a Dremel or a drill and hold it against a cut-off wheel while both are spinning. The resulting point can't help but be concentric.

 

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Then you take your newly-made scriber and slip it through your front jig wheels.

 

1b5b9029-6ce2-4558-8d10-b4a41e11f068_zps

 

Last, you put some black on the upright after it's bent and run your scriber right across... DONE!

 

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BTW... notice that the hole in the JK nose is too high? Ya hafta grind 'em every time, especially on the right side.


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#7 Matt Sheldon

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 09:34 PM

Great stuff as always, Jim, really like the light first example.


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#8 Tim Neja

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 09:35 PM

Hey, nice tool, Jim!! Great simple ideas are best!! Thanks!!! :)


She's real fine, my 409!!!

#9 Pablo

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 07:26 AM

Thanks, Jim. That's very cool. :clapping:  :good:
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#10 SlotStox#53

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 08:32 AM

Some great hints & tips ,thanks Jim ! Noted down for future reference :good:

#11 Tex

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:29 PM

Looks good, Jim.

 

What's your technique for bending the front axle up-rights on that pan?? :)  AND drilling the holes for the proper height?? :)

 

Just butting in.

 

The last 2 chassis' I've built(actually, just finishing the 2nd) feature a similar homemade clone nosepiece complete with front axle uprights. Even so-so pliers are adequate for bending the uprights. Instead of having to be ultra-precise in measuring/bending/drilling to achieve the correct front axle height, I just cut vertical slots in the uprights for the axle to slip down into. Once I have the front axle/wheels in place and a .019" spacer under the front of the nosepiece, I solder the front axle in place, using brass ferrules on the inside of the uprights for added support to hold the axle in place.


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#12 JimF

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 04:48 PM

OK....time to finish up. Here are the next bits you'll need. I make all these up at once and then the next several steps go right along. If you know what you'll need, this speeds things up. Listed top to bottom......

 

(4) 1/4' X 1/2" bits of 1/16" brass. These are the pan tips.

(2) 1/16' wire 3 1/18" long. Framework for the pans or pan rails.

(2) Trapezoids of 1/16' brass, 3/8" on the long edge, 1/4" on the short edge. Supports for the bite bar.

(2) 1/16" wire not finished for length. These are spacers for the pan tips.

(4) 3/32" brass tubing. 2 @ 5/8' long and 2@ 3/4" long. These are hinge tubes.

(4) .055 wire, pan hinges ~~ 1/2" on the short leg and 1 1/16" on the long leg

 

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Pans completed. Outer pan rails and pan tips as shown above.

Shorter pan spacer rail, cut to fit.

Pans weight 4.3 gr. ea.

 

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Pan hinge tubes in place. shorter ones in front, longer ones in back.

Bite bar support blocks about to go in place.

 

 

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Support blocks in place and only soldered to outside frame rail.

3/32 sq. brass tubes in place and soldered to support blocks but also not to frame rails.

 

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Bite bar (upstop) slipped into the tubes for clarity. This is .055 wire.

Blue arrow shows a bit of .032 wire in the saddle of the inner and outer pan rails.

This is a limiter that controls how much movement you have.

If this were smaller wire, you have a little more hinge movement.

If it is bigger wire, you have less.

 

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This shows a couple of bits of .062 wire (arrow) that forms your downstop for the pans.

Bite bar in place but just held by a couple of pieces of wire insulation. This is so I can experiment with this.

 

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OK.......fully wrapped except for bearings. Those go in dead last.

Pin tubes of 1/16" sq. tubing in place. Used square cuz that's what I had.

Front axle in place. 3/32" brass retainer soldered into the inside of the upright to reinforce the axle solder joint.

This pic shows the bite bar set up as a conventional hinge.

Wire insulation (blue arrow) will be replaced with brass stop once I decide what size bar to use.

If I wanted to make this a "shaker" set up, I'd solder the bite bar to the pans at the red arrows.

This is 48.5 gr. as shown here. Will set up about 88-89 w/out body but all other gear in place.

 

We're done. Off to the tumbler for cleanup. Hope to run this one and the .078 version this week.

 

 

ab5bd241-0eb7-4997-a1d1-a8d52a949f86_zps


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#13 Tim Neja

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 05:19 PM

Very nice Jim!! Love your pictures and detailed explanations!! Another great build---thanks for sharing!! :)


She's real fine, my 409!!!

#14 SlowBeas

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 03:20 PM

Jim,

 

I was wondering if you take steps to prevent your main rails from becoming soldered together at the point where you're mounting the small fixtures for your bite bar. Also, any views regarding whether the bite bar must be free-floating inside the tubing? Would it ever be advantageous for the bar to be fixed?

 

Inquiring minds want to know -- because I hope to grow up to be a decent builder of fine chassis one day.

 

Best,

jb


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#15 JimF

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 04:05 PM

Jim:

 

Nothing is a must....everything is a variable.. In this case, I started with no solder junction between the rails at the "bite bar" position. Also, the bb is floating in this case. However, this is an intended variable that can be easily altered. For example; this frame had too much bite in the conditions last Sunday. No biggie.....I kinda expected that. First thing I'll do is make the bb solid rather than floating. 

 

This is an easy variable to start with and can be incrementally tuned according to need.


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#16 Matt Sheldon

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 04:20 PM

Jim,

 

Do you incorporate a bite bar on all your builds?


Matt Sheldon

#17 JimF

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 12:59 PM

Jim,

 

Do you incorporate a bite bar on all your builds?

 

Oooops.....missed this at first..........sorry!

 

First, I think the common term "bite bar" is a bit of a misnomer in this case and in fact, in most applications of retro builds. Still, it is the term that everyone uses. This is........IMO........an up/downstop depending upon how it's done. In this case it's an upstop, but could also be a downstop as well if it were done a little differently. I'd say that I use this feature on most of my builds. I try to start with an arrangement that does not tie the frame rails together as I did in this case. This allows continuous flex from the front plate to the bracket face. When the frame exhibits too much bite, then you can incrementally tighten things up by soldering various portions of this framework. I have already done one incremental step in this regard on this frame.


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Jim Fowler





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